Sam's Hof Brau has been sn institution in Sacramento's Arden-Arcade area since 1959. Since then, they have achieved the reputation of one of the finest hof brau restaurants for good reasons, including delicious food, lots of it, great prices, along with friendly staff.
Photo: Sam's Hof Brau is located in a 1960's era strip shopping center on busy Watt Avenue. We love everything about Sam's, especially the delicious food, the friendly staff member, the full-service bar, and the fact that it's a 5-minute walk from work.
Photo: As you walk in the door, you're greeted with Sam's large, friendly dining room. The carving station is to your right, which is where the culinary adventure begins. It's early Tuesday evening, March 20, 2018, which just happens to be my 66th birthday. As a birthday gift, and as a milestone of 10-years of friendship, my former co-worker and friend, Teri McCloud invited me to dinner tonight. Her work - my former workplace before I retired - is a quarter mile from Sam's, so I simply met her on her dinner break, and we headed over to Sam's Haf Brau to enjoy a good dinner, and some fine company.
The desert station, and the cashier's station are in the center of the photo. If you look in the extreme right rear of the photo, you'll get a glimpse of the full-service bar, but Teri was on her dinner break from work, and I had to drive home, so we skipped the bar and gravitated to the soda fountain.
Photo: You start at the meat carving station, where you order your meat, along with sides. The menu above the counter lists the choices of dinners and sandwiches. Just about every kind of meat you could ever hope for is offered, including roast turkey, pastrami, tri-tip, Salsbury steak, ham... the list goes on. You have two choices of potatoes, either baked, or mashed, with gravy. As much as I love baked potatoes, forget it, and go with the mashed potatoes and gravy, as you won't regret it. As the photo shows, the food is served "cafeteria style," and after getting your meat and potatoes, you move to the left for additional sides, salad, soft drinks, and desert, if you're interested.
To the left of the counter is where you can pick up a side salad, a roll, or a side of beans. The line curves around past the salad bar, which offers an "all you can eat price," the soda fountain, the desert counter, and ends at the cashier's station. In "cafeteria style," you're charged separately for anything not included with the "plate dinner," or the sandwich you order. That description may sound a bit "harsh," but it makes sense, as you get what you want; no more, no less.
Photo: My friend Teri orders a plate of Salsbury steak, mashed potatoes and gravy. I followed her lead and we ordered identical dinners. Originally we had planned to order tri-tip, but on inspecting the small piece of tri-tip they had on-hand, we elected to go with the Salsbury steak. As an added bonus, it includes EXTRA gravy.
Photo: After paying for our meals, I got the friendly cashier to take a photo of my former co-worker, and friend of 10-years, Teri McCloud and I. Teri invited me to dinner to celebrate my 66th birthday, and that was a great birthday present, from a special friend.
Photo: We enjoyed identical dinner of Salsbury steak, smothered in gravy, along with a helping of mashed potatoes, a dinner roll, and a "bottomless" Coca Cola from the soda fountain.
I hadn't enjoyed Salsbury steak for a long time, so this was a real treat. The meat was perfect, absolutely perfect. When you dip your fork into the mashed potatoes, you will think you'd died and gone to heaven. Top off all of this goodness with gravy that is so good that it leaves you senseless, and you get the idea: Sam's Hof Brau serves amazing food!
Back on Friday, April 8, 2011, I met with a group of friends and co-workers after work to celebrate friend and co-worker Duane's birthday the right way - enjoying a fun late afternoon meal at Sam's Hof Brau, on Watt Ave. in Sacramento, CA. I'll let the photos tell the story...
Photo: Here's the view as you walk in, and as you can see, it's pure 1960's... the restaurant opened in 1959, and the decor hasn't changed, but it has been continuously modernized, and now sports hi-def televisions at the bar, and the obligatory computer system that runs everything. The dining room is cozy, spotlessly clean, comfortable, and the staff members are extremely friendly, and eager to please.
Photo: The format is simple: As you walk into the restaurant, you turn to your right, and you will find yourself at the order counter/serving station. You make your choice from the menu, behind the serving station, but behind the glass, you get to see, in person, trays filled with delicious food that's posted on the menu. So you tell the carving person, in the tall hat what you want, and they grab a plate, slice your meat, place it on the plate, give you a healthy portion of mashed potatoes, and if you're in the mood, they cover the whole thing with gravy. Then, your plate of food is placed on a tray, and handed to the friendly girl, who will place the side order of your dreams on your plate, and add a roll, which will complete your order.
Photo: Up-close and personal, my order of corn beef is being sliced, before my eyes. Check out the offerings in the stainless steel trays... it's all tempting, and it's all good!
Photo: Whole turkey cooked, hof brau style at Sam's. The window looks out to the street, and it's heavily tinted, but it shows the beautiful, 1960's era skyline in this small, strip-mall shopping center. I asked the carver in the tall hat how many turkeys Sam's goes through on a normal Friday in early April, and she told me an astonishing 14! Fourteen turkeys a day!
Photo: The carver gal has passed the plate to her friendly helper, as she ladles delicious beef gravy onto my order of corned beef and mashed potatoes. For a side dish, I chose a green salad with ranch dressing. When I told her that I love to take photos of beautiful women with wonderful food, I was rewarded with a giggle. A lady after my heart, if not my stomach... Ms. Carver's hat would put Abe Lincoln's stovepipe hat to shame, and I remarked to her that it would make my Texas 10-gallon cowboy hat look like a punk, which brought a laugh out of her.
Photo: My wonderful late Friday afternoon dinner of a tossed green salad, with ranch dressing, a plate of corned beef - with extra meat - mashed potatoes, beef gravy, a cup of some of the best coffee available west of the Mississippi River, and a fresh roll. The corned beef was so tender that I didn't need my knife, as I could just pick it up with my fork, and it almost fell apart. The potatoes were made from scratch - no instant mash potatoes allowed at Sam's - and the gravy was real... made from real meat drippings. Yes, the meal is just like Mom used to make... If you want me to rate this meal on a scale of 0 to 10, I'd give it a 9.9!!! My friends chided my for drinking coffee, but, hey, I had to drive home... Beer is my all-time favorite beverage, but coffee is high on my list, and since Sam's serves super delicious coffee, with unlimited refills, I had no problems. Sam's provides large, heavy coffee mugs, which probably hold about 8-oz of coffee, and I enjoyed four cups of coffee... let's see... that's a quart of delicious coffee! Oh yes, as you can see, the portions are very generous.
Photo: We celebrate Duane's birthday, from left to right: Brenda, Marjorie, Eric - webmaster and author of this article - Marty, Amelia, and the birthday boy, Duane. We're friends, and either past or present AT&T co-workers.
The bottom line is that Sam's Hof Brau serves delicious, stick-to-your-ribs food that lives up to their slogan, "Home Cooking Since 1959," and true to the slogan, the food tastes like some of the better meals that my mother used to prepare when I was a kid. The portions are large, the price is reasonable, and the folks that work at the restaurant are some of the friendliest people in the business. We love everything about Sam's Hof Brau!
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